How do you extend the useful life of your water heater?

A typical water heater has a lifespan of eight to twelve years but it is possible for you to extend the lifespan of your water heater. Usually the efficiency of most water heaters decrease with usage, most especially due to the accumulation of sediments inside the tanks for those ones that come with tanks. Some other water heaters do not have tanks and these ones have been known to last up to three times longer than the ones with tanks. Although it is important to note that this depends greatly on the maintenance habit of the owner.

In recent times, most tanks are made of steel and lined with porcelain or glass which deteriorate over time and then accumulate as sediments. These sediments cause damage to the heater and will shorten its lifespan.

However, there are a few ways by which you can extend the life of your water heater. Some of them will be mentioned in this article.

Ways to increase your water heater lifespan

  • Install a second anode rod. This will serve as an anti-corrosive agent, thereby protecting the tank from corrosion and elongating the life of the water heater. The anode rod is usually made of magnesium of aluminum.
  • Regular cleaning of the tank. Usually for older tanks, this is the best way to remove the buildup of sediments in them and also improve the functioning of your heater. All you need to do is attach a hose to the water heater and allow the water drain out. This may not be necessary for the more modern water heaters because they are self-cleaning.
  • Install an Expansion tank. This has the potential to increase the lifespan of your water heater, especially if you are on a closed system. A closed system tank has a valve which stops water from flowing back into the water mains. When heat is applied, and the temperature of the water in the tank increases by up to 70°, it will cause the water to expand by up to 2%. This expansion results in a buildup of pressure in the tank and puts more stress on the water heater which can eventually cause a damage. However, with an expansion tank, this extra pressure is effectively taken care of.
  • Install a Pressure Regulating Valve (PRV). This will help regulate the buildup of pressure inside the tank which will ensure that your water heater does not get damaged quickly. In addition, it will reduce the possibility of pressure damage to your appliances. It is advisable to get an expansion tank if you have a PRV.
  • Install a Water Softener. This is especially useful in the parts of the country where the water is predominantly hard water. A water softener will “soften” the water, thereby preventing the deposition of precipitated materials on the surface of your heater which would have damaged it.

In conclusion, ensure you always seek the opinion of a professional regarding and issues you might have with your water heater.